Netflix is finally coming to Android tablets…or at least one Android tablet. Just days after launching the EVO View 4G tablet, Sprint has released a software update that adds Netflix compatibility. The EVO View 4G joins a small number of Android smartphones, including the Incredible and EVO 4G (both HTC models, like the EVO View 4G) that also support Netflix.
Though the EVO View 4G is a 7-inch Android tablet, it runs Android Gingerbread (version 2.3) with an HTC custom user interface, and not Honeycomb (version 3.0), Google’s current tablet operating system found on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Motorola Xoom, and many other large-screen devices. Speculation suggests that Honeycomb versions 3.0 and 3.1 do not support 7-inch screens. An update to version 3.2 is said to bring seven-inch screen support, but there is no official confirmation the EVO View will receive an update to the new operating systme. The smallest tablet officially running Honeycomb is the 8.9-inch LG G-Slate, though seven-inch Android devices like the NOOK Color have been rooted to unofficially run Honeycomb.
The Apple iPad currently supports Netflix, as well as Windows Phone 7 smartphones, but Android support has been slow and limited. This is due to the large number of Android devices available; there is no standardization across the platform. Basically, manufacturers are free to do what they want with Android because it is open source. That includes applying custom user-interface skins and differing streaming video playback features. This fragmentation means that Netflix has to test its app and service with each device individually, which is a time consuming process.
The EVO View 4G tablet is the Sprint variant of the HTC Flyer, a tablet that only supports Wi-Fi. In addition to Wi-Fi, the EVO View 4G can also connect to Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network. It sports a 7-inch screen (1024 x 600), 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, and dual cameras. One defining feature is its support for a pressure-sensitive N-trig active pen that enables on-screen note taking.